Difficulty Weaning!

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Lori 4 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #851233

    Kelly B.
    Participant

    Hello everyone!

    I have been trying for the past week to wean my kitten. He was found during a thunderstorm, a client at the vet hospital I work at found him and tried to search for the mom with no avail. She was unable to care for him, and since I’m a sucker I took him in.

    He is a wonderful little guy, we estimate him to be about 5 weeks old and I have had him in my care for a little over a week now. He even gets along swimmingly with my 4 year old cat!

    My only issue with him is he is attached to his bottle. I have been feeding him gruel for the last week in his bottle (was KMR and a/d since he was so little, now switched over to KMR and ProPlan kitten chicken wet food) and he loves it. He is chewing at the nipple and has poked holes in 4(!) now. So, he is for sure ready to eat from a saucer. He will lick the gruel from my hand, but refuses it in saucer, bowl, or plate. Also, he seems to be terrified of a spoon, he will shriek when I get it towards him.

    I have tried just milk, milk and some wet food, mostly wet food, and even some chicken baby food and he refuses all of it in a saucer!

    I am getting a little desperate for him to eat on his own. I would love to be able to sleep longer than 5 hours!

    He has been checked by both vets in my office and he is in great health, he is FIV/FeLV negative and stool sample tested negative.

    #851244

    pussigato
    Participant

    Thanks for rescuing you wee guy! Believe it or not but 5 weeks is early for weaning. Most kits (with their mom) will not wean until 8-10 weeks. We believe Goats’ milk is much better for kits than KMR. It has nutrients, probiotics and is low in lactose so it’s easier on his tummy. Continue the gruel with Goats’ milk. It will fill his tummy up faster. I understand you wanting to sleep longer than 5 hours (that’s a long time though) but a couple of weeks more and he’ll be ready to start weaning. Purrhaps the Goats’ milk in a bowl will entice him.

    Good luck
    PG

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  pussigato.
    #851246

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    At 5 weeks, you should just be beginning to give solid food, such as wet food and things in a saucer. Kittens usually aren’t weaned until 8 to 10 weeks old. So just keep doing what you are doing, and before long he will be weaned. Lots of kittens just don’t want to give up that bottle–they love the closeness with you and don’t want to give it up!

    #851247

    Kelly B.
    Participant

    Thanks so much for the advice! I will be more patient with him 🙂

    Should I still be doing the gruel in his bottle? Or just milk?

    Thanks again!!

    #851249

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    I would do the gruel in the bottle, as he won’t get enough nutrition now with just milk. I’m going to post a couple of links for you that you might find interesting and very helpful. I used them a lot when hand rearing my kittens. You can transition him to the gruel/milk mixture on a plate when you think he’s ready–eventually he will be. 😉
    http://www.safehavenforcats.com/newborn.htm
    http://messybeast.com/handrear.htm

    #851263

    Kelly B.
    Participant

    Thanks for those links! They were very helpful, I wish those were what came up first in a Google search ;).

    #860778

    Lori
    Participant

    My little guy is 3.5 weeks old and I started giving him gruel in a bottle, he has no interest in licking finger, spoon nothing. How do I know if he is getting enough food/nutrition, he obviously eats less of it than plain formula so not sure how to measure what he needs. I have been using about 2tbsp formula and enough wet that its thick but can be bottle fed, so far he is having about 1 to 1.5 tbsp at each meal thus far but still eating about every 4 hours. I had him since his first day, he seems to be doing great so don’t need any speed bumps.

    #860779

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Lori, he is too young to give wet food only. One to 1- 1/2 tsp. is a lot to add to a bottle–you want mostly formula with a little bit of wet food–and a very fine pate style in there with mostly juices. Most kittens I’ve hand reared aren’t interested in wet food even at 5 weeks. Just keep feeding him the gruel, he will stop when he’s full and if he’s steadily gaining weight, peeing and pooping, then he’s getting what he needs.

    #860780

    Lori
    Participant

    Thanks kittyzee….just to clarify its about 1-1.5 tbsp of formula with wet food mixed in about 1/2 teaspoon as you said in another post. Man this hand rearing is hard with so much info out there and trying to figure it all out. I will keep it thin and let him keep growing. Thanks again for all your advise.

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